Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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  • Posts Tagged ‘JONATHAN SWIFT’


    Saturday, February 3rd, 2024
     A rare Sir John Power and Sons Dublin Whiskey mirror  UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER

    The market for collectibles is strong so there are high expectations around an etched framed Sir John Power and Son Dublin Whiskey advertising mirror at Victor Mee’s sale in Belturbet, Co. Cavan and online. This is a rarity in a sale on February 6 and 7 which will include the pub memorabilia collection of Cannons of Castlebar.  The  gilded lettering is by William Cleland of Belfast and there is an original paper label attached.  Such is the demand  for lots of this calibre that the estimate is a cool €8,000-€12,000.  The mirror is lot 100 in an auction with over 1200 lots due to get underway each day at 5.30 pm.

    An Allman’s of Bandon reverse painted glass advertising sign. UPDATE: THIS MADE 500 AT HAMMER

    Not everything is as expensive as this.  But there should be local interest down south in lot 164, an Allman’s of Bandon Fine Old Irish Whisky reverse painted glass advertising sign with an estimate of just €200-€300.  Allman’s produced whisky, Powers adds an “e” to make it whiskey, which is more generally the spelling used in Ireland.  Either way it is good stuff. Lot 625 is a framed political print of the capture of Thomas Kent in Fermoy and it is estimated at just €50-€80.  He was the only person outside of Dublin apart from Roger Casement to be executed for his role in the Easter Rising and the railway station in Cork, formerly Glanmire Road Station, was renamed Kent Station in his honour in 1966 on the 50th anniversary of the Rising.

    A framed politial print of the capture of Thomas Kent in Fermoy  UPDATE: THIS MADE 60 AT HAMMER

    A sale of memorabilia like this underlines the fast pace of change in the world we live in.  Take pub ashtrays.  Once ubiquitous they seemed to be doled out by sales reps for breweries and distilleries and cigarette manufacturers like snuff at a wake.  They  could be found on every bar counter and table until the smoking ban came into effect in Ireland 20 years ago.  Now they turn up at auctions like this and if you are so inclined you can pick one up for €20 to €40. Lot 295 is a 1930’s sign for Hoey’s Court, Dublin the birthplace of Jonathan Swift, which has since been demolished. The estimate is €150-€250.  The catalogue is online.

    A 1930’s sign for Hoey’s Court, birthplace of Jonathan Swift, which has since been demolished. UPDATE: THIS MADE 340 AT HAMMER


    Friday, February 25th, 2022
    Swift (Jonathan) – The Works. UPDATE: THE CLOSING BID WAS 1,500

    This set of the quarto edition of the works of Jonathan Swift is lot 576 at Fonsie Mealy’s Rare Book and Collector’s timed auction which goes online from 5 pm today and runs until March 8. The sale includes the libraries of the late Henry “Harry” McDowell, Celbridge Lodge, Kildare and Dr. Nora Liddy of Wexford. There are antiquarian books, literature, travel, military history, directories, sporting, history, economics, Celtic studies, ephemera, periodicals and cinema posters among 700 lots. Lot 576 is estimated at €1,500-€2,000.


    Friday, February 11th, 2022
    Iohannes Haughton (probably John Houghton, Irish, fl. 1741-1775): A mid 18th century sculpted white marble bust of Jonathan Swift. UPDATE: THIS MADE £10,500 AT HAMMER – £13,375 WITH PREMIUM

    This sculpted portrait of Jonathan Swift by John Houghton comes up as lot 185 at Bonhams Connoisseur’s library sale at Knightsbridge in London on February 15. There is an interesting provenance to the piece by repute displayed at the Swift ancestral home, Swiftsheath, Kilkenny, Ireland. It came from Robert Swift Esq. (d. 1842), great great grandson of Jonathan Swift’s uncle Godwin Swift, 1627-1695 who raised the writer when his own father died prematurely, and was presented in 1847 to Godwin Swift Esq., cousin of Robert Swift. It passed by descent to
    Godwin Swift Esq., grandfather of the present owner and author of a handwritten family record (one of a several) compiled between 1928 and 1940, whereby the bust is mentioned. It is estimated at £5,000-8,000.


    Thursday, August 12th, 2021

    This portrait of Jonathan Swift by Francis Bindon has been at Howth Castle since 1735 and will come up at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of contents of the castle on September 8 and 9. A second sale of the library at the castle takes place on September 22 and 23. More than 800 lots will come under the hammer in the fine art and antiques sale.

    Howth Castle has been the home of the St. Lawrence family since the Norman Invasion. Since 1919 the castle has been held by the distaff heirs, the Gaisford-St. Lawrence family. In 2018 the family announced their agreement to sell the castle, demesne and Ireland’s Eye to the Tetrach investment group who intend to develop an hotel and luxury resort.  A seven acre portion has since been sold to Glenveagh homes who plan to build 200 apartments.


    Monday, July 1st, 2019

    A first edition of Gulliver’s Travels 1726-27 is among a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s online sale of English Literature, Books, Childrens’ Books and Illustrations. The sale will include a 1654 Summary of Government Expenditure, Ireland, a copy of the Irish Proclamation estimated at £50,000-70,000 and lower half only copy of the Proclamation with an estimate of £8,000-12,000, paintings by Edyth Starkie, a pencil and watercolour caricature of George Moore by Max Beerbohm and various other lots. The sale opens for bidding today and runs until July 9.

    Gulliver’s Travels (£6,000-9,000).


    Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

    A first edition of Gulliver’s Travels.

    A first edition of Gulliver’s Travels is one of the leading lots at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 1 March 1. From a world-class collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century fantasy and scientific literature it is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

    Jonathan Swift’s Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World … by Lemuel Gulliver, commonly known as Gulliver’s Travels, was published on 28 October 1726, selling out within two weeks. It has been popular ever since and is the most widely read work of 18th century English literature. Adapted many times for film, television and radio – and even opera – the stories of Gulliver’s travels to fantastical lands, including Lilliput and Brobdingnag, are famous throughout the world.

    The collection was assembled during the 20th century by a French bibliophile. It has a strong emphasis on works which would now be classified as science fiction, although important scientific and philosophical writers such as Galileo and Descartes are also represented. Other highlights include:

    • A first edition of Johannes Kepler’s very rare imaginary tale of a voyage to the moon – Somnium, seu opus posthumum de astronomia lunari. Divulgatum (A Dream: or, a Posthumous Work of Lunar Astronomy)– published posthumously in 1634, and estimated at £20,000-30,000. The book features an astonishingly accurate description of how the rest of the celestial system would look as seen from the moon.
    • La découverte australe par un homme-volant, ou le Dédale francais by Restif de la Bretonne estimated at £4,000-6,000. This proto-science fiction Utopian novel is the account of the voyages to mythical lands by the hero, Victorin, in his flying machine made of cape-like wings of silk and a head-worn umbrella-device. It is illustrated with plates depicting the flying machine and the exotic tribes encountered by Victorin on his journey, including men-asses, men-frogs, men-snakes, men-elephants and men-lions.
    • De la terre à la lune, trajet direct en 97 heures, by Jules Verne estimated at £800-1,000. A second edition of Verne’s classic From the Earth to the Moon of 1865 which drew on the latest scientific and technological knowledge to envisage a manned flight to the moon more than 100 years before it actually happened.